This IS an award-winning dance school that strives to be welcoming and kind while maintaining excellent technique in its dancers.
Youngsters from Southampton Dance Academy took to the stage again, performing their first large-scale school production since before the pandemic at the Plaza in Romsey earlier this year.
The company was started by dance teacher Chrissy May, initially as a solo group named CM Dance, in April 2009.
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The move to Southampton Dance Academy, based in Shirley and specializing in ballet, tap, modern and contemporary dance, came ten years later to reflect the growth of the business.
Now with a team of three brilliant dance teachers, the school won a bronze award in the Dance School of the Year competition last year. The annual competition celebrates the achievements of dance teachers with their schools around the world.
Chrissy told the Daily Echo: “Our ethos of welcoming and being kind to all comers while striving to maintain excellent technique in our dancers sets us apart from the rest.
“When I asked our parents what was unique about us, they said the feeling of safety and inclusion is something that seems more prevalent at our school, and the way we communicate our continuing education to families with which we work.
“They come back because they know we really care about their kids.”
Covid shut down Southampton Dance Academy completely, but that didn’t stop them from dancing.
Chrissy added: “We immediately realized that our learners needed to feel connected to each other, so we very quickly adapted and adopted Zoom, teaching a simplified schedule to those who could and wanted to access it, while leaving the doors open to those who did not have access to them. I don’t want to be online for classes.
“It was a very precarious period but we did pirouettes!”
During the first lockdown, a popular star reward system was also introduced. The free program allows kids to earn stars for small wins rather than specific skills, so each can be tailored to the individual.
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